Perfect Acai Bowl
Published Jun 17, 2021, Updated Jan 21, 2024
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Here’s how to make a thick and creamy acai bowl at home! This recipe tastes amazing… just like a bowl from a smoothie shop. It’s also packed with antioxidants!
If you’re looking to make your own acai bowl at home, you’ve come to the right spot because I have the perfect base recipe to make an epic acai bowl every time the craving hits!
What is Acai?
Before we dive into how to make an epic acai bowl, it’s essential to understand what acai is. Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a small, dark purple berry native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. It’s often referred to as a “superfood,” because of its nutritional profile including:
- Antioxidants: Acai berries are packed with antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which give them their vibrant purple hue. These antioxidants help combat free radical (oxidative stress) in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Acai contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium, contributing to overall health and immune support.
- Healthy Fats: Acai berries are a good source of healthy fats, primarily monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, which can support heart health.
- Fiber: Acai is rich in dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and helping you feel full and satisfied.
You’ll typically find acai that has been processed into a pulp and frozen at the grocery store. But be sure to check the package label because some brands do add sugar to the acai. You can also buy acai powder, which is usually in the supplement section.
What is an Acai Bowl?
Okay so now that we know what acai is, let’s talk acai bowls! They are basically smoothie bowls are that made with acai as the base. Imagine a velvety, berry-flavored frozen treat that’s not only indulgent but also nutrient-packed. That’s the essence of an acai bowl. It’s a delightful marriage of flavors and textures, where the richness of the acai puree harmonizes with an array of toppings that can range from fresh fruits and nuts to granola and honey.
Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
Yes! Like I mentioned above, acai is loaded with antioxidants and a healthy little super-fruit! Watch for added sugars in your acai mixture and make sure your bowl is well rounded with protein, fat and fiber for a filling snack or meal.
Acai berries are loaded with antioxidants! Just make sure you are using unsweetened frozen acai berry packets for this recipe.
Acai Bowl Ingredients
- unsweetened acai packets – these packets are simply acai puree that has been frozen. I personally like the Sambazon brand and always buy the unsweetened variety. The sweetened packs have a lot of sugar added!
- frozen banana – Frozen banana adds natural sweetness to the smoothie bowl and makes it thick and creamy. If you don’t love bananas, you can use 1 cup frozen mango instead! Be sure to freeze your bananas after they’ve been peeled. You can freeze them in chunks or chop it into chunks after freezing.
- non-dairy milk – I like to use unsweetened almond or oat milk, but you can use any type of milk you have on hand. You only need a little bit of liquid for this smoothie.
- frozen mixed berries – You can use whatever type of frozen berries you have on hand. I usually use a frozen berry blend, but using either frozen blueberries, strawberries or raspberries works great. You can also use fresh fruit, but frozen fruit does keep the smoothie bowl consistency thicker.
- peanut butter – look for a natural peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. You can also use a different type of nut or seed butter like almond or cashew butter.
- vanilla or chocolate protein powder – I recommend Nuzest protein powder. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
Added sweeteners: Some acai bowl recipes call for an added sweetener like honey or maple syrup, but I don’t find that necessary here. The acai, banana and berries will make the bowl plenty sweet!
How to Make the Açaí Bowl Thick
Acai bowls are meant to be super thick and scoopable with a spoon! Using frozen fruit and a small amount of liquid will help ensure your smoothie bowl ends up nice and thick.
One thing to note is that thick smoothie bowls can be hard to make unless you have a high-powered blender with a tamper. The tamper is critical for pushing the ingredients around and you definitely need a machine that has power when you’re working through this amount of frozen fruit. I’ve found that my Vitamix blender works great for smoothie bowls like this one!
Acai Bowl Toppings
Feel free to get creative with your toppings! Most smoothie shops create a pretty design on top of the bowls with a row of sliced bananas, fresh berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds, coconut flakes and even cacao nibs. Of course you can get creative with your favorite toppings. Here are some ideas.
- sprinkle on granola or unsweetened coconut flakes for some crunch.
- add extra fresh berries – a sliced strawberry or fresh blueberries work great!
- fresh banana slices look lovely spread in a row on top.
- sliced kiwis (or kiwi flowers) make for such a pretty acai bowl topper.
- add a sprinkle chia seeds or flax seeds for a little extra protein and fiber.
- add a drizzle of nut butter on top. I love using peanut butter or almond butter.
For an extra fancy #instagramwrothy acai bowl, arrange the toppings into rows across the top!
More Refreshing Smoothie Bowls
- Ultimate Green Smoothie Bowl
- Ultimate Healthy Smoothie Bowl
- 15 Amazing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
- Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl
- Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl
- Maqui Berry Smoothie Bowl
More Smoothies to Try
- Health Nut Smoothie
- Grapefruit Smoothie
- 3-Ingredient Mango Smoothie
- Pineapple Recovery Smoothie
- Blue Smoothie Bowl
Check out all of the smoothie recipes here on EBF!
Perfect Acai Bowl
- 2 unsweetened acai packets
- 1 frozen banana, in chunks
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk, if needed
- ½ cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, (or nut butter of choice)
- toppings of choice: a drizzle of nut butter, granola, berries, banana slices, chia seeds etc.
- Let frozen acai packets sit out at room temperature for a couple minutes, just enough for the packaging to loosen. Remove from package and cut or break the frozen pack into pieces.
- Add acai, banana chunks, berries and peanut butter into your blender.
- Pop the lid on your blender and begin on low, slowly increasing speed as everything starts to combine. Use the tamper on your blender to push things around. This might take a bit just because everything is frozen and the smoothie bowl will be thick (but this is what we want)! Add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Once everything is combined and smooth, scoop your blended smoothie into a bowl and top with granola, banana slices, fresh fruit and an extra drizzle of peanut butter, if desired.
- Thick smoothie bowls can be hard to make unless you have a high-powered blender with a tamper. The tamper is critical for pushing the ingredients around and you definitely need a machine that has power when you’re working through this amount of frozen fruit. I’ve found that my Vitamix blender works great for smoothie bowls like this one!
- Banana – don’t like banana? Swap the banana for 1 cup frozen mango.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.